We’ve talked content calendars and we’ve talked creating content, but what about your platform? In this article I’ll outline a few key ways to build your writing platform and work on increasing your following from day one.
The first step is believing in the product that is you. You’re an author or a blogger, or you have a podcast, or you’re a ghostwriter, or you post amazing travel pictures on Instagram. All fine and well on their own, but a platform takes it one step further. A platform is a way to spread your works, message, writing, art, etc.
The platform is a tricky concept to talk about. Everyone has a different way of looking at their platform. I view the platform as what you bring to the table. It’s how many people you reach, it’s how many people are actively engaged in your blog/books/videos. It’s all the different pockets you have your hands in to help round out your brand.
Now it may seem vague and complicated but I will tell you this: A platform isn’t just a blog and a twitter. You might have thousands of followers on Twitter, but how many are actively engaging in your posts?
Your platform is what you bring to publishers to convince them your book is worth investing in. Your platform is what you show sponsors who want you to try out a product on your channel or write about in your blog. Even if you’re a ghostwriter or editor and don’t have anything of your own, you still should work on growing your platform, which will show clients you are the best person for the job.
And you might be thinking, hey Kay I get it. But I’ve got three followers on Twitter and I’ve just finished the first draft of my Steampunk Urban Dystopian Erotica, shouldn’t I wait awhile until I start building my platform?
You certainly can. But I wouldn’t. I would start right away, and here are some ways to improve your social media presence, build your platform, and wade right into the exciting world of marketing.
You need one. Even if it’s just your portfolio, you need a small corner online to call your own and showcase the product that is you. Whether that’s writing, a book series, editing, graphic design, etc.
However, just having a blog isn’t enough. You need to update regularly to keep interest and keep momentum.
Take advantage of all the different social media sites you can. Don’t think writing has anything to do with Instagram? Think again! The least you can do is try it and see where it goes.
And don’t be too disheartened by the rate of your engagement. Look at the broad picture, the number of people actively engaged with you, how many people you engage with, how much you post and what times of the day you post. It’s a science and a gamble.
Also, if you use Twitter one-sided, meaning you post and just leave it, then chances are you won’t get much engagement. Actually read the tweets of your followers, comment, and retweet, this will help people engage with you, believe it or not!
Tease Your Product and Try Giveaways
How’s that book you’re working on? I’m almost done with my first draft, but writing a novel is no easy task. However, you don’t have to wait until you have a polished and perfect product to start advertising your work. You can tease the book to see what kind of interest there is.
Publish the first few chapters and ask for feedback. Make some swag related to your book/project and try some giveaways.
Worst scenario, no one takes a bite and you might have to go back to the drawing board. Best case scenario you’ve already garnered a following for your book and have a potential audience when the finished product is up and ready.
What do you think? What do you do to build your platform? Do you agree with my tips? Let me know in the comments.